OMC 's active alignment-based fiber-optic links solve consistency problems for HV apps



Fiber optic cable assembly with Active Alignment technology

HV applications such as power distribution networks and power supplies often require optical isolation because of the voltages present, however, achieving consistency of performance has proven a challenge for many providers. OMC has combined 30 years of experience in producing glass and polymer fibre optic cable assemblies with its own proprietary Active Alignment technology to ensure that its fibre-optic data links perform consistently and reliably from link to link. During manufacture of its housed optical transmitters (Tx) and receivers (Rx), OMC powers each active element and tunes the performance of the device to ensure that the electro-optical characteristics of each and every device fall within a customer-specific performance window, exactly matching the required performance specification.

Equally, when manufacturing the corresponding optical fibre cable assembly to be used between the Tx/Rx, OMC’s unique production techniques can ensure a very high level of consistency of link attenuation which is matched to the Tx/Rx performance window, meaning that each and every link will function regardless of how the transmitters, receivers and cables are paired during assembly/installation.

Explains William Heath, OMC’s commercial director: “Most manufacturers of optical fibre cables don’t touch the transmitter/receiver part of the link – similarly, few Tx/Rx providers produce fibre cable assemblies. In our experience, most customers don’t want to get involved in either area; they simply have an electrical signal at point A and want to procure a link that will convert it to an optical signal, transmit it, and convert it back to an electrical signal at point B safely, reliably and consistently from link to link. The problem is particularly apparent in high voltage applications where tolerances can be very tight, and a lack of consistency between transmitter, receiver and cable characteristics means that customers often have to go through a lengthy and costly selection process to yield sufficient complete links to satisfy a production demand.

“We specialise in the manufacture of both Tx/Rx devices as well as the fibre optic cable assemblies to link between them. By tailoring one of our existing processes we are now able to supply production quantities of fully-characterised fibre optic links with 100% link consistency to leading producers of HV equipment used in mass transit, medical, power generation and distribution, radar and x-ray applications.”

OMC offers a full range of transmitters, receivers and connectors to suit both plastic and glass fibre systems. The company is also highly-experienced in producing both polymer and glass fibre cable assemblies to suit customer requirements. The company’s complete data link manufacturing service allows design engineers to avoid “mixing and matching” off-the-shelf components, which can result in unreliable systems. Because it is technology-agnostic, OMC is able to advise on the correct choice of technology to suit the application.